July 23, Colombo: The government has taken steps to extend the debt relief period by another six months for the people in the tourism sector which has been affected hard by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Accordingly, the loan concession has been extended until December 31, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
A senior official of the Ministry of Tourism has told Lankadeepa that there are over Rs. 300 million loans taken by the hotel sector at present and that the commercial banks are also under severe pressure as most of them have obtained loans through commercial banks.
The Ministry of Tourism has requested the Treasury to obtain a concessionary loan from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank to repay the loans of these commercial banks, the senior official of the Ministry further said.
The official pointed out that the entire loan amount could be re-registered with the relevant commercial banks as a new loan.
With the third wave of the pandemic severely affecting the Industry, Sri Lanka Tourism has recently requested new relief from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in addition to the extended debt moratorium from banks and finance companies, as well as concessionary working capital which was arranged for the industry in 2020/2021.